Are we seeing the effects of public awareness campaigns? A 10-year analysis of Breslow thickness at presentation of malignant melanoma in the South West of England

A. Armstrong, C. Powell, R. Powell, N. Hallam, J. Taylor, J. Bird, C. Sarran, D. Oliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction The last 20 years has seen a marked improvement in skin cancer awareness campaigns. We sought to establish whether this has affected the presenting Breslow thickness of malignant melanoma in the South West. Method This is a retrospective study looking at the first presentation of melanomas from 2003 to 2011. Data was accessed using the local online melanoma database. Results A total of 2001 new melanomas presented from 2003 to 2012 (Male:Female = 1:1.062). The average yearly number of melanomas was 200.1 (range = 138-312). The mean age was 62.5 years (range 12-99). Data was analysed using a Chi test. For 0-1 mm melanomas, there is a significant difference in the observed versus expected values over the 10 years (p = 0.0018). There is an increasing proportion of 0-1 mm (thin) melanomas presenting year on year, with a positive linear trend. This is very statistically significant (p < 0.0001). The 1-2 mm melanomas are decreasing in proportion with a negative linear trend (p = 0.0013). The 2-4 mm are also decreasing in proportion (p = 0.0253). There is no significant change in the thick >4 mm melanomas (p = 0.1456). Conclusion The proportion of thin 0-1 mm melanomas presenting in South West England has significantly increased from 2003 to 2012. There is no significant change in the thick >4 mm melanomas. This may be a result of increased public awareness due to effective public health campaigns which has significant prognostic and financial implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-330
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Volume67
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Breslow thickness
  • Melanoma
  • Patient education
  • Public awareness
  • Sun bed
  • UV

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